From its first human gathering and cultivation between 12,000 and 6,000 years ago, the rice genusOryza has fed more people over a longer period than any other crop. It has been closely linked with the evolution of human society, both as a commercial product and as a creator of communities. Rice has been traded in all directions from its places of origin and today it is cultivated on every continent except Antarctica. Irrigated rice, which has always depended on well-regulated, adequate water supply, necessitated the building of canals, reservoirs and terraces and the utilization of a great deal of labor, which in turn created a demand for the nearby availability of communities of people to ensure the basic food supply. Because rice plays such an important role in the lives of its producers and consumers, it is little wonder that it occupies a major position in the cultures of rice-growing countries. Mentioned in all the scriptures of Asia's ancient civilizations, rice is involved in the religious and secular ceremonies of many countries — from birth, through marriage, to death — and in colloquial speech.
Planting rice is never fun; Bent from morn till set of sun; Cannot stand and cannot sit; Cannot rest for a little bit. From an old Filipino song
KeywordsWater Supply Environmental Management Food Supply Planting Rice Commercial Product
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